The possibility of sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger returning from a shoulder injury for this week’s trip to Oklahoma State is still in play, offensive coordinator Tim Beck said on Wednesday.
Beck told reporters at his media availability that Ehlinger continues to practice and has worked this week with UT’s first-string offense. Assistant coaches at Texas usually do not handle injury-related questions, so Beck noted that more information would likely be available at Tom Herman’s Thursday meeting with the media.
While Beck did not divulge a lot of information, it seems that Ehlinger is making positive strides. Herman told reporters at the start of the week that Ehlinger threw a Nerf football 10 times on Sunday and a regular football a few more times than that. Ehlinger sprained his throwing shoulder on the first drive of a 23-17 win over Baylor on Oct. 13.
Beck said he believes that he and Herman will meet on Thursday or Friday to discuss Ehlinger’s status. When asked if UT would need to alter or scale down its game plan for Ehlinger, Beck said he doesn’t want to start a player who is limited.
“My philosophy is if he’s not ready to go, he won’t play,” Beck said. “If he’s ready to go, he’ll play.”
Since Texas was off last week, Beck was speaking to reporters for the first time in two weeks. That gave him his first chance to publicly grade junior Shane Buechele’s relief performance against Baylor. In his first action of the season, Buechele threw for 184 yards and a touchdown. He completed 20 of his 34 passes.
Beck said that Buechele “hit some big plays for us when we needed them,” namely a handful of third-down conversions and a 44-yard touchdown toss to Collin Johnson. The offensive coordinator pointed out, though, that Buechele missed a couple of protection calls and played cautious at times.
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